FORMER Claret Jay Rodriguez says a reunion with Burnley in the Premier League has given him an added incentive to get over the knee injury which wrecked his World Cup dream.
The Burnley-born striker was tipped for a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad bound for Brazil after firing 17 goals for Southampton – including five in his last five games.
But a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered against Manchester City in April brought a cruel end to Rodriguez’s season and his World Cup hopes.
The 24-year-old is not expected to return to action until October.
And Rodriguez admitted he would love his comeback to coincide with a top flight clash with the Clarets.
"It will be the first fixture I look out for when they come out next month," he said.
"Hopefully I can make it back and play.
"It will be nice to be back at Turf Moor.
"The last time I was there was for the derby with Blackburn the season before last.
"I've been trying to get back and was meant to be at the Wigan game when they won promotion but I couldn't because of my knee so watched it on the internet instead.
"It was a bit nerve-wracking because it was quite a tight game for a bit.
"But they deserved to win it and I knew the lads would be buzzing."
Rodriguez admitted he could see Burnley's Premier League potential when they played Southampton at St Mary's in the FA Cup third round, when Rodriguez scored the third goal in a 4-3 win for Saints.
"It was weird scoring against them but I just tried to be focused. It's part of football," he said.
"It was a nice occasion to play against them in the cup but it will be even more special in the Premier League, and they deserve to be there.
"They played football, they played attacking football which caused us problems and made it a tough game.
"They've been like that all season and I don't think they should change anything for the Premier League."